How can corporate lifestyle management enhance staff wellbeing?
Wellbeing, wellness, work-life balance… These buzzwords are becoming increasingly common in the world of work.
Modern employers are encouraged to offer employees free fruit or little perks like cupcakes on a Wednesday (and remember dress-down Friday back in the day?). But, larger forward-thinking companies are going a whole lot further in the pursuit of supporting their employees’ wellbeing.
Perks, perks, perks
Google is a leader in this 21st-century corporate lifestyle area. Its HQ in Silicon Valley has space-age nap-pods in which employees can power-nap in darkness with soothing sounds played through headphones. They also issue massage credits for free massages on campus, and free exercise classes and gyms are on hand. And free canteens cover all three meals a day. Corporate lifestyle management is in place to help look after staff.
Other corporations with their fingers on the wellbeing pulse include Microsoft, whose workplace perks include gym memberships as well as on-site spas and organised sports. It even has its own Living Wellness Health Center for free health screenings, flu shots, diet counselling and wellness coaching.
And at Twitter’s California headquarters, employees can use free healthy canteens, gyms, and attend multiple exercise classes.
But it’s not just the USA where the idea of wellness for employees is expanding. 14fiftyseven director Susie Osborough tells us about businesses she has visited that employ award-winning baristas to make staff coffee, offer subsidised canteens for breakfast and lunch, have in-house yoga classes, oxygenating living walls of herbs and plants, in-house dry-cleaning facilities and hairdressers, and in one, a medical booth for private doctor’s consultations. This isn’t just about a token beanbag in the corner and a table tennis set with chipped bats, it’s actual practical facilities to enhance the lives of employees.
One, Belazu, a high-end Mediterranean ingredients company based in London, offers a Med-inspired subsidised café where all staff eat lunch cooked by an accomplished chef. It makes for a great place to catch up with fellow workers, whether a packer from the ground floor, or an exec on the top floor. They also offer company party days, and make sure all staff get to take part in cheffy food-tastings or visit their olive groves in Spain, or sponsored school in Morocco. This ethos cultivates a good feeling among staff, and aids staff retention and loyalty.
And at Nike UK’s HQs in London and in Doxford, perks are part of the package, although they vary depending on your position in the company. When you join Nike, the company like to let you know you’ve joined a family, and they invest in you, offering health and fitness perks – as you might expect from a sports brand giant, including health care and gyms.
This is all well and good for large corporations, but what of smaller companies? Do they just have to make do with a bowl of jelly beans and a duvet day once a year. We think staff need more than that to show that they’re valued. At 14fiftyseven, and at our sister company Progressive Travel Recruitment, we offer spa vouchers to encourage our staff to take a day every so often to recharge, away from the phone and desk. We also all flew business class to Dubai last December for our annual team-building get-together. We believe in offering the same perks to all staff. This year, we’re heading to Spain for a weekend. It all makes a difference to the way staff feel about their job.
Corporate lifestyle managers
We also think many medium-sized and larger companies could do with a person employed to think about the wellbeing of staff. Call them a lifestyle support manager, or a corporate concierge, perhaps – some system of organising corporate lifestyle management, so that it becomes ingrained and not a token gesture when management remember.
This corporate lifestyle management service could have myriad functions. The employee could be in charge of arranging staff gym discounts, or be the person to organise staff activities and team building sessions, but they could also be an actual concierge. They could book theatre and restaurants for staff, be the person who signs for packages, or sorts transport. It’s also the sort of role that staff could have a say in deciding how it operates.
The only note of caution in this brave new wellbeing nirvana, comes from new team-networking company Slack who have begun a small backlash, promoting the idea of ‘work hard go home’, rather than work long hours but take breaks for your mental health. We think a bit of both is the best way forward. Of course, no one should be advocating that you spend all your time at work, but surely it would be good to have the perk of a lifestyle manager to help you take care of some of your personal admin to save you having to juggle it while you work.
It’s often true that where America leads, the UK follows, and you can expect large UK and European companies to start considering their employees’ wellbeing more seriously in the next few years. We say, join the revolution; hire a corporate concierge to help smooth your employees’ lives.
Call us to start the corporate lifestyle management conversation – the beauty of 14fiftyseven is that all roles are different – tailormade to suit your business or your lifestyle.
For corporate lifestyle management services – London or beyond, call Susie Osborough +44 (0)208 616 1457 to get the ball rolling.
14fiftyseven recruits household and corporate staff, including exceptional lifestyle managers, executive personal assistants, nannies, butlers, house managers and more. We are a lifestyle management recruitment agency and more.
14fiftyseven. Because we’ve been there.